Fought For Country: Not For His Own Fight Against Oral Cancer

Dear Eva, My father hasn’t eaten in 5 days and barely drinks water. He continues to refuse a feeding tube even though his weight dropped from 158 to 120. He doesn’t complain but his health is going downhill fast. Radiation for his oropharyngeal cancer ended almost 3 months ago! Our whole family is begging him to save himself. As a …

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No Tongue and Grateful

Good thing she bit her tongue. She was resistant to seeing a doctor, but when it didn’t heal, she went. A squamous cell carcinoma more than 1/2 of her tongue. Were there other symptoms? Did she ever have pain in her tongue? Pain is the most common sign of oral cancer. Despite having most of her tongue reconstructed from her …

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Jim Kelly: Oral Cancer Survivor and ESPYS Perseverance Award Winner

How has oral cancer affected Jim Kelly? Listen to his voice. Or, rather his articulation. Can you imagine how he eats differently, swallows differently, sleeps with difficulty? Oral cancer is devastating and you cannot hide the results under your clothes. Jim Kelly accepts the Perseverance Award from ESPYS and gives a 5-minute acceptance speech mentioning his son Hunter and how …

Do The Light Devices Enhance Oral Cancer Screenings?

A young dad on the train told me his dentist asked if he wanted ‘an advanced screening.’ The young man agreed to the $50 charge. I asked if his dentist pulled his tongue out to the point it was a little uncomfortable. I asked if his neck was palpated. His answer to both was ‘no’. His dentist replaced the visual …

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Oral Cavity Biopsies: 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

My first biopsy was misread as hyperkeratosis when in fact it was moderate dysplasia. I should have been flagged two years before I was diagnosed with Stage IV Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the lateral border of my tongue. Here is what I learned about biopsies: They are not 100% definitive. Why? Imprecise tissue sampling; Improper tissue handling; inaccurate interpretation. I …